Regional Eurostars – costing the taxpayer

We’ve mentioned the “regional Eurostars” before – trains that were planned to run from stations on the West Coast Main Line, on to HS1, through the Channel Tunnel and then onto the continent. These days we are promised HS2 trains running from stations on the HS2 route on to HS1, through the Channel Tunnel and then onto the continent.

The HS1 trains have hit the news again, with an article in the Independent.

What it says is that seven “regional eurostars” were built at a cost of £180,000 million, but they are used in France, to deal with shortfalls in French rolling stock.

However the Independent tells us:

“The Department for Transport spent “between £300,000 and £400,000 last year” on mothballed facilities for the aborted Regional Eurostar project that would have provided a direct link between provincial cities and the Continent….A depot built in Manchester to maintain the trains remains the responsibility of London & Continental Railways, a company that is wholly owned by the Department for Transport. It has lain largely unused since it was built in the early 1990s and London & Continental has to pay for its upkeep, though there has been no indication that it will ever be required for its original purpose.”

So 13 years after a glossy brochure promised direct trains from Manchester to Paris when the Channel Tunnel opened, the trains exist, the depot exists (and costs the taxpayer real money) but the service is still non-existant…

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3 comments to “Regional Eurostars – costing the taxpayer”
  1. When I asked HS2 whether the HS2 high-speed railway would ever recoup the money spent on it, they told me that investment in infrastructure isn’t expected to be paid back. The infrastructure is the country’s asset. These items acquired in the 1990s must also be our assets. It’s a shame if we are still paying for them but no-one in this country is benefiting from them.

  2. if we had had hs2 with a connection to hs1 years ago we could have run the north of london services. seems strange that they cant use the facilities to maintain some other trains though.

    • We had Concorde instead, vtiman.
      (Thankyou Mr, Wilson.)
      Maplin Airport was the third alternative.
      Progress advances.
      Now please form an orderly queue for the single remaining Ryanjet toilet.

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